Coevolution of coloration and colour vision?

Lind, Olle, Henze, Miriam J., Kelber, Almut and Osorio, Daniel (2017) Coevolution of coloration and colour vision?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 372 1724: . doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0338

Author Lind, Olle
Henze, Miriam J.
Kelber, Almut
Osorio, Daniel
Title Coevolution of coloration and colour vision?
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2970
Publication date 2017-06-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2016.0338
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 372
Issue 1724
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract The evolutionary relationship between signals and animal senses has broad significance, with potential consequences for speciation, and for the efficacy and honesty of biological communication. Here we outline current understanding of the diversity of colour vision in two contrasting groups: the phylogenetically conservative birds, and the more variable butterflies. Evidence for coevolution of colour signals and vision exists in both groups, but is limited to observations of phenotypic differences between visual systems, which might be correlated with coloration. Here, to illustrate how one might interpret the evolutionary significance of such differences, we used colour vision modelling based on an avian eye to evaluate the effects of variation in three key characters: photoreceptor spectral sensitivity, oil droplet pigmentation and the proportions of different photoreceptor types. The models predict that physiologically realistic changes in any one character will have little effect, but complementary shifts in all three can substantially affect discriminability of three types of natural spectra. These observations about the adaptive landscape of colour vision may help to explain the general conservatism of photoreceptor spectral sensitivities in birds. This approach can be extended to other types of eye and spectra to inform future work on coevolution of coloration and colour vision. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Animal coloration: production, perception, function and application’.
Keyword Adaptive landscape
Bird colour vision
Butterfly colour vision
Colour vision
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 2012-2212
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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